The Waves SSL E-Channel Strip and G-Channel
Strip are some of the most popular plugins for mixing, and for good reason. They sound
great, they can also be used as an all-in-one effects processing unit. One thing that might
be overlooked when first using the plugins is the internal routing options. These options
change the order of the various sections of the plugins. There are three sections: one section is the
filters section, which consists of a high pass and low pass filter. Another section
is the 4-band equalizer, and the last section is the dynamics section which consists of
the compressor and expander/gate. Internal routing options can be used to change the
order of these sections such as putting your equalizer before you dynamics section. Or
put you dynamics section before you equalizer. You can also use the internal routing options
to do more advanced techniques such as de-easing. Why don’t we get to an example and I can
show you all the different options. Here I have a multitrack drum recording with
consists of several different microphones on the drum kit. I have kick drum over here,
snare drum, toms, overhead and a couple room mics. Let me go ahead and play it back so
you have an idea of how it sounds. [drums] On some of the tracks I’ve inserted the
E-Channel Strip and on other ones I’ve inserted the G-Channel strip. Because the routing is
a little bit different on each of these plugins. First I’ll start off with my kick drum track.
Bring up the E-Channel Strip. I’ve got it in it’s default settings, and the default
routing is to first start out with the dynamics section then go into my filter section, and
finally the EQ section. What I’m doing here is just a little bit of compression and then
the expander/gate, then I’m going into the filter section which has a high pass starting
around 40 Hz, and then a low pass around 10k. And I have a 4-band equalizer, boosting a
little bit around 2k and up around 5k to give it some snap and punch. I’m rolling off
around 200 and 300 Hz to take away the boxiness and then boosting finally around 60 Hz just
so I can kind of fill out the bottom end of my kick drum. So let’s here how that sounds. [kick drum] On the external microphone I’m still using
the E-Channel, but i’ve clicked on the split button right here. What this is going to do
is move the filter section in front of the dynamics. This can be done if you don’t
want your really low end signal triggering the compressor. This is a popular way to use
the plugin, especially for things like kick drum or bass where in the first situation
the compressor was sensitive to the really low frequencies, but by putting the filter
in front, now the compressor and gate are no longer listening to those really low frequencies
that you’re going to roll off anyways. So let’s listen to this. [toms] And just to demonstrate that the compressor
is not listening to it, if I roll it off, it’s no longer listening. I’m doing a
similar thing on the sub kick. Where I had the split engaged. And that’s just putting
the filters before the dynamics section. Next let’s get to the G-Channel I’ve got
inserted on the snare drum. Again I’ve got the split button engaged. Even though it’s
the G-Channel strip, it’s gonna do a similar sort of thing. I’ve got the filters going
before the dynamics and thing going into the equalizer. [drums] On my snare bottom mic I’ve decided to use
this channel out button. What this channel out button is going to do is put the equalizer
in front of the dynamics section. I’ve also got the split engaged which also puts the
filters in front of the dynamics section. So let’s listen to this one. [drums] Just to demonstrate it, if I roll everything
out, you’ll see that the compressor is not doing as much here, meaning that the equalizer
— the signal I’m taking out — is in front in fact of the compressor. Now you see
the compressor doing more work. I’m doing a similar sort of thing with the
E-Channel. I’ve got the channel output engaged so that the equalizer section is before the
dynamics section. Same sort of thing. Next let’s go over here to the overhead
and room mics and see what’s going on with them. I’ll start out with this pair of room
mics. I’ve got the G-Channel going, and what I’m doing, is I’ve got the filter
dynamics sidechain engaged. For the overheads and room mics I’m going to be doing some
side-chaining. What I’ve got when you engage this one is you put the filter section in
the sidechain of the compressor. The filters then are no longer affecting the actual signal
that’s gonna pass through, but it’s affecting a signal that’s separated out and that goes
into the dynamics section. What I want for these room mics is my compressor to be heavily
compressing this signal, however I don’t want it to be activated by the kick drum.
So what I’ve done is increase the filter to 350 Hz, so that’s gonna block out all
the low end so my compressor isn’t listening to the low end. However I still want those
signals, those frequencies in my signal to be present in the actual output. And that’s
what you can do by moving the filters into the sidechain of your compressor. So let’s
take a look at this. [drums] So you can hear if I disengage the button,
now the compressor is responding to the kick drum and the actual output signal has been
rolled off below 350Hz. When I engage this, then the compressor isn’t doing anything
for the kick drum it’s mostly just listening to the snare. You have to be sure not to engage
the split button because the split button will put it back before the dynamics section.
But this room mic, again, I’m just using the split button so that I’ve put the filters
below the dynamics section. Nothing too advanced there. Finally with my overheads, let’s bring this
up. On the E-Channel strip the side chaining works a little bit different. No matter what,
when you click on this button, you’re going to put the equalizer in the sidechain of the
compressor. You can engage the split button and the split button will put the filters
before your dynamics section and out of the path of the sidechain. So in this case the
filters are affecting the actual audio that’s passing through the entire plugin. I’ve
taken it out, now the filters and the equalizer are both in the sidechain path and so basically
the input signal what you’re hearing is only the input signal being compressed. You’re
not hearing any of the equalizer affecting it. So let’s look at what I’m doing with the
equalizer. What I want to do is use it as a way of getting rid of the harsh components
of the cymbals in my overheads. So when there’s a loud harsh signal, I want the compressor
to kick in. This is what you would typically use a de-esser for on vocals. And because
I don’t have any vocals here, I wanted to show you how to use it. This would be a smilier
routing that you would want. So if we actually dis-engage this, you’ll hear what the signal,
the equalizer section is doing. So I’m cranking up the harsh parts of my signal around 3k
and these high frequencies as well. I’ve rolled out the low end here and here and here
as well. So now the compressor is listening for the harsh parts and when it’s extra
harsh it’s decreasing the volume. Again, you can use these bypass buttons to
switch out the equalizer or the compressor if you’d like. And those are the main setting of the internal
routing of the SSL plugins. I’ll go ahead and play you out the track so you can hear
what’s going on, maybe bypass all the plugins and bring them back in, give you a better
idea.

How to Mix w/ Waves SSL G-Channel and E-Channel Plugins
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28 thoughts on “How to Mix w/ Waves SSL G-Channel and E-Channel Plugins

  • January 17, 2014 at 1:20 am
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    New video tutorial from @Eric Tarr.

    Reply
  • March 2, 2014 at 8:05 am
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    Excellent!!!!!

    Reply
  • May 29, 2014 at 2:53 am
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    Are you parallel processing?

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  • June 14, 2014 at 1:51 pm
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    bro those drums Dam

    Reply
  • July 2, 2014 at 1:08 am
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    Great tutorial! Thanks!

    Reply
  • August 3, 2014 at 4:48 am
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    Thx for the insight!

    Reply
  • November 28, 2014 at 11:46 pm
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    Nice job

    Reply
  • January 8, 2015 at 11:35 am
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    Most Exceiient

    Reply
  • February 3, 2015 at 10:32 pm
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    Are you using Protools in 64 bit or 32 bit mode?

    Reply
  • March 28, 2015 at 5:43 pm
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    maaaaan this is sick, would you mind telling me the microphones you used for this recording?

    Reply
  • March 31, 2015 at 11:42 pm
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    difference between G and E channel strips?

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  • April 2, 2015 at 2:27 am
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    This is really clear and informative, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • March 30, 2016 at 8:04 pm
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    Great kick sound! Any info on heads, mic, eq, processing?
    Just got the SSL G and E

    Reply
  • May 26, 2016 at 9:49 pm
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    хорошее видео и программа достойная внимания

    Reply
  • August 17, 2016 at 2:00 am
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    Excellent

    I like the intro

    I'd like to invite you to consider some of my production tutorials or listen to any of my music.

    If you'd like to know how to make a certain sound, mix, produce or make a recorded instrument better let me know in the comments.

    Cheers

    Reply
  • January 23, 2017 at 9:34 pm
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    Great video. The drums sound awesome. I was wondering why the default is for the Dynamics to be Pre-eq? Is it meant to mimic using compression while tracking? My chains are always Eq -> Compression.

    Reply
  • February 12, 2017 at 11:36 pm
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    Agree with everyone, those drums are awesome. Are these samples or actual takes from an acoustic set? I have both E&G channels and hope to duplicate what you've shown for a session we just tracked. Thanks

    Reply
  • March 20, 2017 at 2:47 pm
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    at 8:30 when you say " the split button takes the filters out of the audio path of the side chain" it is not correct.
    the path is source->filter then separates to compressor input and to eq->side chain input. so basically filter is still in the audio path of the side chain.
    side chain input is source->filter->eq->side chain input
    and compressor input is source->filter->compressor
    audio separates after the filter.
    still, your drums sound amazing 👍

    Reply
  • June 22, 2017 at 11:05 pm
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    The best all in one plug-in!

    Reply
  • June 29, 2017 at 1:06 am
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    If yall are still confused with this instructions, click the [?] button on the plugin to access the PDF Manual and look at the diagrams page 6-7.

    Reply
  • August 28, 2017 at 4:43 pm
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    Nice job on this tutorial. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  • September 16, 2017 at 2:16 pm
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    Most excellent demo. Keep them coming!

    Reply
  • December 21, 2017 at 11:45 pm
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    Beautiful work!
    Seriously between you and “Mixing with Mike” I can pretty much learn everything I need to become a great mixer (well, that and endless hours of practicing mixing). Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Steve

    Reply
  • February 27, 2018 at 11:30 am
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    The term you can't teach and old dog new tricks has just been scrubbed off my history books… Wow this explanation is awesome !!!

    Reply
  • April 12, 2018 at 11:03 pm
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    So, the Bypass buttons bypass the filter side or dynamics sides respectively, the split button on the filters puts it in front of the dynamics, the ch out button of the dynamics side puts the eq in front of the dynamics, and the flt dyn s-c button sidechains the filter/eq to the dynamics. Very informative. Is the filter section in front of the eq by default?

    Reply
  • November 23, 2018 at 5:07 pm
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    u need the ssl e channel on your voice also!

    Reply
  • September 19, 2019 at 9:03 pm
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    Damn hell yeah. Glad I just picked up E Channel. Glad I found this video

    Reply
  • January 11, 2020 at 12:37 pm
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    Great tutorial thanks!

    Reply

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